Thelondonpaper, the News International freesheet set to close in the next few weeks, was the largest grower amongst the handful of daily papers to increase in their readership in the year to the end of June.
Readership of the Financial Times, The Guardian, the Times, Express and freesheets Metro and London Lite also continued to grow year on year, according to latest NRS figures released today.
However, it was thelondonpaper which led the field, despite owner publisher News International announcing last week that it was to shut the loss-making title.
According to the NRS, thelondonpaper increased its estimated readership in the year to the end of June to 1.1 million. A 14 per cent jump on the estimated readership in the 12 months to the previous June.
The aftermath of the MPs’ expenses scandal and the continuing effects of the recession impacted newspaper readership in varied ways – according to NRS.
In early May, the Daily Telegraph published leaked MPs’ expenses, dominating the news agenda with a series of scoops.
However according to the NRS, the Daily Telegraph lost an estimated 218,000 readers in the year to June, an 11 per cent drop.
NRS gathered its data by surveying 37,454 people to estimate newspaper readership, unlike the Audit Bureau of Circulations, which audits the number of copies of papers distributed.
The latest poll places the estimated UK readership of the Pearson-owned FT at 430,000 per day, a rise of 14 per cent in the 12 months to the end of June compared with the same period the previous year.
The Guardian, part of Guardian News & Media, grew three per cent, with an estimated 1.2 million readers a day, while News International’s Times grew readership by four per cent, to an estimated 1.8 million readers a day.
Independent News & Media’s Independent dropped its estimated readership to 679,000, a three per cent fall.
Figures for middle market newspapers showed falls in readership for The Daily Mail, which dropped to an estimated 4.8 million daily readers, a nine per cent fall.
The Daily Express, however, showed a small increase of two per cent to 1.6 million readers, with stablemate, Daily Star, falling one per cent to 1.4 million readers in the year to June.
Of the other tabloids, the Sun’s estimated readership dropped to 7.8 million, a two per cent fall year on year, while Trinity Mirror‘s Daily Mirror dropped three per cent to an estimated readership of 3.6 million.
The Sunday tabloid market showed falls across the board in estimated readership. The New of the World stayed on top, despite a 1 per cent fall to 7.8 million readers, with the Mail on Sunday lost 7 per cent, falling to 5.4 million readers. The Sunday Mirror was down to 3.9 million readers, a five per cent drop.
The Sunday Express also dropped, falling six per cent to 1.7 million readers.
Readership levels of the quality Sunday papers were mixed. The Observer gained 56,000 readers, climbing four per cent to a total estimated readership of 1.4 million. The Sunday Times climbed one per cent to 3.2 million estimated readers.
The Independent on Sunday suffered badly, losing 15 per cent of its estimated readership year on year to average 646,000 readers each week in the 12 months to June.